The 2011 AWARDS

Kristy Jones
OATFACS 2011 Teacher of the Year

The purpose of this award is to recognize teachers who are providing outstanding career and technical education programs for youth and/or adults in their respective career fields and communities.Kristy Recipients of this award must have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career technical education.

Kristy Jones is a national board teacher, mentor, master teacher, leader, author, and adjunct professor at Ashland University. She has presented numerous speaking engagements and workshops within the Crestwood Local School district, across Ohio and other states.

Her principal, Arden Sommers, states: “Kristy genuinely understands the deeper purposes of education and her value to those purposes. She artistically engages students through relevance and relationships. As a Curriculum Liaison for the district, she has become an invaluable source of ideas in solving building climate issues, and professional development. Kristy Jones is one of the finest educators that I have known in my 36 years and is highly deserving of this prestigious award.”

One example of Kristy’s impact relates to a leadership retreat she and her students created and led. This retreat included families, students, community members and teachers. One student commented, “This was the most life-altering experience I have ever encountered.”

Kristy certainly exemplifies all that we envision in an excellent teacher and OATFACS is pleased to present to her the 2011 Teacher of the Year award.

Lois Stoll
OATFACS 2011 Distinguished Service Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize members for outstanding service to NATFACS and professional contributions above and beyond the traditional expectation of duties assumed.

Lois Stoll came to the OATFACS board just a few short years ago. In that time she has left her mark as our conference planner and advocate for high quality professional development programming for all FCS teachers in Ohio.

In addition to her role with OATFACS, Lois serves on the Ohio Department of Education committee for development of Personal Finance Standards. She has attended the National Training for Family Economics and Financial Education in Tucson, Arizona and served on the FCCLA Advisory Committee for FEFE. Lois holds a master’s degree in curriculum and supervision and serves as a mentor teacher.

Her principal, Scott Albert, describes her this way, “Mrs. Stoll is a National Board Certified teacher and is extremely serious about her profession as a classroom teacher. She is involved with many committees in our high school and district and is one of the first people that I seek input from when making administrative decisions to better our school. Her wisdom and experience is invaluable in the success of operations for our high school.”

He continues with, “Mrs. Stoll presents herself in a professional manner and is one of the best teachers I have been associated with in my 32 years in education.”

OATFACS is pleased to present Lois with the 2011 Distinguished Service award in recognition of the excellence she brings to every OATFACS conference!

Paulette Farago
OATFACS 2011 Award of Merit

The purpose of this award is to recognize a member who has made significant contribution to Family and Consumer Sciences, and/or ACTE, Pauletteand/or NATFACS who is considered to be an outstanding leader in the field.

If you know FCCLA, you know Paulette Farago. No one gives as much and believes as strongly in the power of FCCLA as she does. Every year she takes a group of eager, but mostly inexperienced, students and turns them into a vibrant, polished group of state officers that we all take pride in claiming for Ohio.

Paulette is a former teacher at Wellington High School and has been actively involved in FCCLA at every possible level. She has been Ohio’s FCCLA State Advisor for the past 8 years. She has served on the National FCCLA SEAT Team and has been head of National FCCLA STAR Events for the past two years. She has been instrumental in grant-writing for FCCLA, including a Youth-Service Grant, Membership Grant, and a Marketing Grant.

OATFACS is proud to present Paulette Farago with the 2011 Award of Merit for the valuable leadership she provides for FFCLA advisors and that she builds within our youth.

Leah Norris
OATFACS 2011 Outstanding
Career-Technical Professional in Community Service

This purpose of this award is to recognize educators with significant accomplishments and outstanding leadership in programs and activities that promote community involvement. Recipients of this award must have made significant contributions toward training, motivating, and inspiring their peers and students to become involved in programs and projects that benefit their communities.

Leah Norris has been teaching high school Family & Consumer Sciences students about the value of community service throughout her 15 years of teaching at Woodridge High School, a part of the Six District Educational Compact. Chris Seiber, her Assistant Principal, describes her, “She is a great teacher, wonderful role model for students, and a tremendous asset to her school and community. She has demonstrated a standard for true professionalism and caring for her students that sets her apart from her peers. Leah advises one of the most active clubs in the district, FCCLA where her students gain great experiences and opportunities for leadership, and in turn, are able to help the school and community through a number of service oriented projects.” He continues, “It is difficult to summarize all that Leah Norris does for Woodridge High School, and what she means for our students. Each day she approaches her job with a passion for being a teacher, for making a difference in her student’s lives, and for being the best that she can be. As stated before, she is a role model, but in my opinion she is not only one for her students, but for our profession as well.”

OATFACS is pleased to present the 2011Outstanding FCS Career-Technical Professional in Community Service award to Leah Norris, knowing that she will continue to inspire students to act unselfishly for the benefit of others.

Deonna Dixon
OATFACS 2011 Outstanding
New FCS Career and Technical Teacher

This award is meant to encourage new teachers to remain in the profession.
Recipients of this award must have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs and have shown a professional commitment early in their careers.

Deonna Dixon has certainly packed a lot of experience into her short tenure as an FCS teacher. She has already demonstrated traits recognized in all outstanding teachers, especially, by doing whatever it takes to help her students succeed. When her program needed to teach first aid and CPR she became an American Heat Instructor, giving her students the ability to be employable in the child care industry. She has increased enrollment in her preschool program lab by hard work after hours advertising and by being part of a team who created a sliding fee scale to allow low income families to attend her preschool program. She has implemented changes in the curriculum for the students to better understand the early childhood industry needs and been an important part of the switch to Tech Prep for her students and program with the University of Akron. Deonna has presented at OATFACS conferences, helps the planning committee during conference, and revitalized FCCLA at North High School, including taking students to skills events. So much accomplished in such a short time!

OATFACS is pleased to recognize Deonna Dixon as our 2011Outstanding New FCS Career and Technical Teacher. We look forward to her continued growth as an FCS teacher.

Melissa Solazzo
OATFACS 2011 Outstanding
FCS Career and Technical Educator

MelissaThe purpose of this award is to recognize career and technical educators, other than full-time classroom/laboratory teachers, who have recently provided, or are currently providing, significant contributions to professional associations and career and technical programs for youth and/or adults in their career fields, communities and/ or states. Recipients of this award must have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs; and/or improvement, promotion, research or development of programs related to career and technical education.

Melissa Solazzo may have left the FCS classroom but it is apparent that she has not left FCS behind. Instead, she has carried FCS into new arenas, places that benefit not only her personal skills but also the image of FCS. Melissa is currently Interim Vice President of Career Development with Butler Tech Educational Resource Center. She has partnered with the Ohio Department of Education and the Center on Education and Training for Employment in the development of end of course assessments for FCS, and has been instrumental in the development of on-line FCS courses for Butler Tech, one of which was recently approved for Ohio Learns. She is a past president of the Ohio Supervisors of Family and Consumer Sciences and has served on the Ohio ACTE Administration Division’s Council of Presidents. Melissa has helped other local school districts in their work to transition to FCS standards and supported up to 51 FCS and GRADS teachers at Butler Tech.

Melissa is a strong advocate for FCS in Ohio and OATFACS is pleased to recognize her as the 2011Outstanding FCS Career and Technical Educator.

Margaret (Bunny) Brooks
OATFACS 2011 Pride Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize a member who is a Family and Consumer Sciences Education classroom teacher for outstanding marketing endeavors and promotional ideas for the continued development and enhancement of Family and Consumer Sciences Education.

Bunny Brooks has an amazing list of accomplishments, many of which center on her commitment to providing a high quality college life course for her students and making that program available for teachers around the country.
She is author of “High School to College Transition Guide: Piecing It Together” and “The High School Teacher’s Guide for the ACT Test!”. She is currently working on a new book entitled “How to Cook in the Dorm without Burning It”

Her nominator described Bunny in this way, “Bunny has put more than her time into her teaching. Her students more than benefit from all the effort she has given. Going back to earn her masters degree in reading was motivated by the belief that vocabulary is the key to being able to advance one’s score on the ACT/SAT tests. She has even taken the ACT/SAT tests several times to get a feel for what the students would need to know when taking it.”
Bunny’s principal, Dr. Samuel Ison, states, “Mrs. Brooks’ day does not end with the last bell. She stays after school to help students with college applications and prepare for the ACT test. She even meets with parents and students on the weekends, including holding a class on Saturdays. She is an asset to our program. She is one of those staff members that serve as the foundation for a school to provide all the assistance possible for students and staff. She does everything without fanfare or recognition.”

There are many ways to market and promote FCS programs but it is hard to imagine any better way than serving the specific needs of your students in such a way as to have parents and community recognize you as “the go to person for educational planning.”

OATFACS is extremely pleased to present Bunny Brooks with the 2011 Pride Award.

Mary Jo Kohl
OATFACS 2011 Ambassador Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize educators who have made the highest meritorious contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of Career and Technical education.

You can’t be an FCS teacher in Ohio and not know Mary Jo Kohl. MJMore importantly, you can’t be an FCS teacher in Ohio and not recognize and appreciate her for all the work she does on our behalf.
There is no other person in this state who advocates for FCS so successfully!

Mary Jo has been described as “a consummate professional who gives 110% to her job on a daily basis. She is creative, innovative and works hard to stay on the cutting edge of new trends in FCS education. As a consultant, she strives to communicate with all FCS teachers on a regular basis and uses a variety of platforms to reach her intended audiences.”

Rick Mangini states, “She understands the needs of FCS and has taken several leadership roles to help position the discipline for the future. She has been active working at the state and national level for the good of FCS and has been prominent in Ohio positioning FCS faculty as leaders in the teaching of personal finance. She has certainly made a positive impact in Ohio because she has gained enormous respect from her peers.”

Cindy McKay says, “Mary Jo has contributed above the call of duty or job description, by consistently thinking “outside the box” as she creates exemplary support for Family and Consumer Sciences inside and outside the Ohio Department of Education. Her work is outstanding in so many ways as she keeps both the practicality of working within a challenged system and the excellence of programs critical to Ohio families in balance. Her ability to serve as a motivator, being a good listener, and helping others to assume leadership has raised the bar and garnered increased recognition for Family and Consumer Sciences Education in Ohio.”

We are so fortunate to have Mary Jo serving FCS in Ohio. OATFACS could not be more pleased to present the 2011 Ambassador Award to Mary Jo Kohl!

OATFACS 2011 Champion for
Family and Consumer Sciences

The purpose of this award is to recognize a person (nonmember), business, company, government (local, state, federal) or community-based agency or a representative there of (outside the FACS profession), who has exemplified extraordinary support and concern for Family and Consumer Sciences and NATFACS.

The Dibble Institute and Family and Consumer Sciences really go hand-in hand. When you look at their core values you might think they were for FCS:

  • Core Values
  • Believe in the power of relationships.
  • Seek excellence.
  • Exist to serve and to lead.

We both understand that healthy relationships are fundamental to real success in life and we work to help young people develop skills to build and maintain those relationships. We both set standards for excellence because we know that we can not ask anything from our youth that we do not expect from ourselves. We found our passion in serving our students, families, and communities and we lead through our examples everyday in the classroom.

The Dibble Institute has been a valuable supporter of FCS through the high quality curriculum resources made available to us. Ohio has been fortunate to have The Dibble Institute participate in our annual conference for several years. They have been a regular exhibitor and frequent presenter. They have also piloted curriculum for our GRADS program and worked cooperatively with the Ohio Department of Education for development of federal grant proposals. Please visit Dibble on Facebook or their Homepage.

We are happy to include The Dibble Institute in the FCS family and are pleased to name them the 2011
OATFACS Champion for Family and Consumer Sciences.

The 2011 Pacesetter Awards

The purpose of the Pacesetter Award is to recognize individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership or innovative program achievements through service to Ohio ACTE. Each division selects their Pacesetter recipients. The current Pacesetter award winners are currently serving on either the OATFACS board or as active members of the conference planning committee. The award winners are:


Anne Rolfes - Linda Dillon - Laura Boyd - Ruth Budd - Kelly Schulze - Dova Zak


Congratulations to all of the award winners!